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Floridians breathe easy as DEP upgrades air quality monitor network

Florida air quality monitoring network is being upgraded and expanded to cover more areas throughout the state. Currently, Florida has 214 strategically positioned air monitors measuring different types of air pollutants that have the potential to affect health. Upgrading this network will ensure the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) scientists will have the data required to keep Florida's air quality among the best in the nation.

The air monitor network measures and records various air pollutants so the state can make regulatory decisions and determine compliance with federal air quality standards. The network of air monitors is being expanded by adding 14 new air monitors that will measure nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide as well as other pollutants. The out-dated technology of 39 other monitors measuring ozone and sulfur dioxide will be updated with digital analyzers and wireless communication equipment making them more reliable and require less maintenance.

The DEP will spend more than $700,000 in 2014 to improve the air monitoring network. Rep. Kathleen Passidomo said in a DEP press release, “Upgrading and adding air monitors throughout the state is important to making sure that all Floridians are able to breathe clean air. This is especially important to those who are most vulnerable to the impacts of air pollution.”

An interactive map of the locations of the air monitoring equipment can be viewed online at the DEP website. When clicking on a site a box pops up with information about the air quality in that area. For more detailed information about the Air Quality Index (AQI) visit the DEP page.